RMS End of Week Update 9/9/22 for NYS Council members

September 9, 2022

Please note:  In the information below, there is a section about an upcoming MRT 1115 Waiver Virtual Public Forum.  The upcoming Forum is NOT about the recently submitted NYS 1115 Waiver Amendment proposal sent to CMS on September 2, and released to the public on Thursday.  See below highlighted information. 
Thanks as always to our fabulous government relations consultants at Reid, McNally and Savage for this useful information. 

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From: Reid McNally Savage <info@lobbywr.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 9, 2022 at 11:10 AM
Subject: RMS End of Week Update 9/9/22

RMS End of Week Update 9/9/2022 

2023 Paid Family Leave Rates Announced 

As reported by the NYS Business Council, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has announced employee contribution and benefit rates for Paid Family Leave (PFL) for 2023. Despite the impact of COVID and the addition of siblings to the list of family members for whom employees may take PFL to care for when they experience a serious health condition, the employee contribution has been reduced by 10%. As the state’s average weekly wage for 2023 increased to $1,688.19, the maximum weekly benefit available to employees increased by $62.72 to $1,131.08 (67% of the state’s average weekly wage).

In determining the community rate for 2023, DFS reviewed claims, demographic, financial and other PFL benefits data for calendar years 2018 – 2021, and for the first six months of 2022 for the PFL program in New York, consistent with actuarial principles. DFS also reviewed claims and demographic data for New York’s disability coverage, as disability insurers are required to include Paid Family Leave benefits coverage as a rider to their disability policies.

More information on the 2023 PFL rates and benefits can be found on the state’s PFL website.

NY’s Good Government Organizations Call For State’s New Ethics Commission to Begin 

New York’s good-government organizations on Thursday called for the state’s new ethics commission and lobbying watchdog to begin its work by the end of this month as the commission’s appointees begin to take shape. 

Seven of the new commission’s 11 appointees have been given approval by the state’s law school deans, who have been charged with reviewing the qualifications of the selections for the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government. The existing appointments give the new panel enough for a quorum to begin its work. 

The panel is a successor organization for the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The top leaders in the state Senate and Assembly, as well as the governor, attorney general and state comptroller have appointees to the panel. Lawmakers created the new commission after criticism of the defunct ethics agency — known by its acronym JCOPE — that it was too close with state officials and lacked transparency. 

“It has been over a month since JCOPE dissolved; New Yorkers are paying for an ethics commission and they deserve one that is hard at work,” the good-government groups, led by Reinvent Albany, wrote in a statement. “More so, New York institutions should not go another month without an internal ethics watchdog overseeing, and advising on, the conduct of the state’s elected and appointed officials.”

Not having an ethics cop on the beat means no new investigations are being approved and existing cases remain in limbo, the groups said. At the same time, officials have been urged to make their final appointments to round out the commission after several appointees were rejected by the law school deans. 

“It is also important that the commission reflect the state’s diverse racial, ethnic, and gender groups, as well as geographical areas,” the groups wrote. “Elected leaders should ensure that the remaining nominees add diversity to the existing appointments.” (full article linked here)

September 28, 2022 Virtual Public Forum For New York’s 1115 Waiver Programs

The Department of Health announced a public forum will be held on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, from 1-4pm for New York’s 1115 Waiver programs, during which the public may provide oral comments. Any updates related to the forum will be sent via the MRT Listserv. Public comment may be submitted in writing through Monday, October 10, 2022 to 1115waivers@health.ny.gov. Please include “1115 Public Forum Comment” in the subject line.

Pre-registration is required for anyone wishing to provide oral comment using this link. Individuals who wish to provide comment must register with an “SP” in front of their name (ex: SP Jane Doe) and must email 1115waivers@health.ny.gov no later than Tuesday, September  27, 2022, at 4pm to confirm registration. Individuals will speak in their order of registration. All presenters should limit comments to five minutes or less to ensure that all public comments may be heard. 

Following the meeting, the Department will post a transcript of the

public forum to our website here: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/medicaid_waiver_1115

Please direct all questions to 1115waivers@health.ny.gov

The tentative agenda for the day is as follows:

1:00-3:50 MRT Public Comment
3:50-4:00 Wrap-Up

About the 1115 Waiver:

·      The 1115 Demonstration Waiver, also known as the MRT Waiver in New York State, is an agreement between the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and New York State that allows the State to use a managed care delivery system to deliver benefits to Medicaid recipients, create efficiencies in the Medicaid program, and enable the extension of coverage to certain individuals who would otherwise be without health insurance.

·      The MRT Waiver was renewed on April 1, 2022 and is effective through March 31, 2027.

·      The MRT Waiver is a vehicle by which the State has implemented the initiatives of the Medicaid Redesign Team and subsequent health systems reforms.

NYS COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard 

Below we have included the State’s Testing Tracker which includes the state’s overall testing status by clicking on the link above you can view the testing results by county. This data is current through September 8, 2022.Screen Shot 2022-09-09 at 9.57.04 AM.png

Use this link to view the State’s updated COVID-19 Hub.

NYS COVID-19 Fatalities Tracker 

Below we have included the Fatalities Tracker with the webpage where updated numbers can be found throughout the week linked here.Screen Shot 2022-09-09 at 9.57.40 AM.png

Helpful Links and Resources

COVID-19 Weekly HealthcareProvider Update Compilation: As of May 17, 2021
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Financial Services information and resources
COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
Check you Eligibility to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine

New York COVID-19 Vaccine Information Page 
Remaining Active Industry Guidance for Reopening

Governor Hochul Relevant Executive Order Compendium

Department of Health


COVID-19 Guidance for Medicaid Providers

In-Person Special Education Interim Guidance

Office of Mental Health




State Education Department


NYS Department of Labor


FAQ for Employers on COVID-19


Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Workforce Development Initiative


Accessible Virtual Meeting Platforms
The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) published a tip sheet on “How to Pick an Accessible Virtual Meeting Platform.” This resource provides best practices on the process of ensuring that virtual platforms support full accessibility for people with disabilities. Read “How to Pick an Accessible Virtual Meeting Platform”